SUNIL Narine is still available for selection for the West Indies, even though he was reported for an illegal bowling action for his Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Saturday.
The 32-year-old TT Red Force and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) off-spinner was reported by on-field umpires Ulhas Gandhe and Chris Gaffaney during the Knight Riders’ two-run victory over Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
An IPL statement on Saturday said Narine would be placed “on the warning list” but will be allowed to bowl unless there was another report against him. If he is called again by the on-field umpires, he would be “suspended from bowling” in the IPL until he receives clearance by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India)’s committee that deals with suspect bowling actions.
Narine was not selected by the KKR for their clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday and the Royal Challengers romped to an 82-run victory.
He was allegedly reported for a suspect bowling action during the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which took place in Trinidad in August and September, and now his bowling action has been called into question once again.
Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies (CWI), said on Monday, “(Narine) has not been suspended so he is still available for IPL and any other cricket including West Indies.
“If he gets reported again, then he would be suspended and then becomes unavailable,” added the CWI CEO. “His bowling coach Carl Crowe is with him in the UAE and has been since the start of (the 2020) IPL, and his helping him tighten up his action.” Dr Nigel Camacho, acting president of Narine’s parent club Queen’s Park, and TTCB (TT Cricket Board) president Azim Bassarath, both offered support to the experienced off-spinner.
“As his parent club, we’ll continue to support him,” said Camacho. “We have brought in the Australian (Crowe). He has a great relationship with his coach at Queen’s Park, David Furlonge. Whatever Sunil needs at Queen’s Park, we are very willing to give him support.
“If they suspect that there is something amiss with his action, we’ll support Sunil 100 per cent and we’ll make sure he can perform to the best of his ability.”
Questioned about Narine’s reputation as a marquee bowler, in light of his struggles with his bowling action, Camacho replied, “No. He had this before and he came back almost as strong or stronger than before. Narine is just a fantastic bowler. Even if he is to make a change to his action, I am confident he will be back stronger than before.”
Narine was reported twice during the T20 Champions League in 2014 and subsequently skipped the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. He was reported during the 2015 IPL and, on international duty, with the West Indies during the tour of Sri Lanka later that year.
Bassarath said, “We have a (virtual TTCB) meeting on Saturday and that matter will be dealt with. Sunil has been through this period on quite a few occasions and I am quite confident that Sunil will come out of this with flying colours.”
Asked if Saturday’s meeting will touch on TT bowlers who require remedial work for suspect bowling actions, the TTCB president responded, “We have a policy in place, whenever a bowler is reported, we have a system where (the unrelated Williams) Kelvin and David will work with that player to try to fix his problem.”
The KKR, in a media release on Monday, said, “We are respectful of the process that the IPL has put in place to have his action reviewed, and are working closely with the IPL in this matter. We are hopeful that there would be an appropriate resolution quickly. We appreciate the cooperation being extended by the IPL in expediting this matter.”